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Christian Weddings

Is anyone NOT having alcohol at their wedding?

FI and I don't drink. His family doesn't drink either but my whole side of the family does drink. FI and his family are very opposed to there being alcohol at the wedding and my parents are insisting. I'm stuck in the middle just trying to keep the peace!

My parents are paying for the wedding and say that it's rude to not have alcohol.

So, is anyone not having alcohol served during their reception? If not, what beverages are you providing? How are you handling the no alcohol situation if people ask? Do you tell them you aren't having alcohol, explain why, etc?

Thanks!!

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Re: Is anyone NOT having alcohol at their wedding?

  • bballgirl8789bballgirl8789 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We aren't having alcohol.  My FI and I actually discussed this shortly before we were engaged.  We have a lot of alcoholics on my side of the family and various family and friends that don't know when to stop.  We didn't really want to deal with that kinda atmosphere and people feeling awkward, since many people we are inviting also do not drink. 

    That's a tough situation you're in though.  Your parents are footing the bill, but you, FI and his family don't want it there.  Do you think you could sit down your parents and explain to them why you and FI aren't comfortable having it there? 

    FI and I do drink though, we have decided that instead of having it at our reception, that after the wedding we'll have an after party at a local bar for the younger people, so we can socialize with some of our friends more and party some more, ya know get married once, right? :)

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  • FaithCaitlinFaithCaitlin member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    My parents know that I don't want it there but still insist upon it.

    I feel pretty stuck. :(

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  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    We did not have alcohol at our wedding.  I was in a school with an honor code that said we couldn't drink and ran the risk of getting kicked out of school if we did serve alcohol.  Our venue didn't allow it, and we had tons of people on our guest list who can't control themselves when alcohol is involved.

    We had an evening, dinner reception.  Our reception started about 5:30 and ended about 9 or so.  The dance floor was full, people appeared to have a great time, and we did too.  The people who seem to marinate themselves in liquor at most family events didn't drink...and they didn't leave early!  In fact, they were shuttin' the place down right with us.

    H's cousin, on the other hand, just finished paying off the damage done to his venue when their guests got out of control due to alcohol.  I definitely wouldn't trade places with them.

    We served water, soda, a lemonade type drink with ginger ale and peach sorbet, hot apple cider (December wedding), teas and coffee.  I don't remember anyone asking if we were having alcohol or not, but I'm sure that if they did we answered that no, there would be no alcohol.  We didn't feel the need to explain or go ito detail with our guests, and we definitely didn't "warn" people the way some people think a bride and groom should.
  • GJones27GJones27 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Even if you disagree about drinking alcohol, others (I personally think) should be entitled to have the option of drinking, unless you're afraid of alcoholics relapsing.  I don't drink alcohol on principle.  FI's family aren't big drinkers, and my dad's side of the family (many are Mormon) don't drink.  However, we're just offering champagne and wine.  There is no evil with drinking in an of itself as long as people keep it in moderation.  I mean, even the wedding in Canaa with Jesus had wine, and he turned water into wine!   If you do go dry, just be prepared for people do be more reserved about dancing and such.  It's also less common to have a dry wedding in the evening.
  • fpaemp2011fpaemp2011 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    We're not doing alcohol.  Neither of us drink and we also attended a university that does not allow any student to drink.  Many of our friends are still enrolled.  In our 400+ person guest list, less than 20 of them would actually drink in public. 

    I fear the wrath of my 92 year old great-grandmother, who lives next door to my parents, more than irritating an uncle I see maybe once a year. 

    Also, with FI's position as a youth pastor, it's just not worth the trouble to give the appearance that we support drinking.

    We're doing mocktails during the appetizer hour (there are recipes on my bio under Reception) and Water, Sweet tea, Unsweet tea, and Lemonade for dinner and coffee when the cake is served.
  • naomikbnaomikb member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    That's a tough one.   My gut is that since your parents are paying, I'd go with their ideas on this one.  Ditto GJones about Canaa.  Jesus drank wine and so do I.

    You could maybe compromise with your parents and serve just beer and wine or champagne and wine?  And not have hard liquor?

  • FaithCaitlinFaithCaitlin member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I absolutely have no problem with alcohol. FI and his family don't drink because of religious reasons (I have mentioned that Jesus drank wine but they like to stick to their opinions, which is totally fine!) and I don't drink because of bad past experiences.

    We don't have a real "reason" for not having alcohol, other than my personal situation which is not something I want to disclose to our guests or anyone but my mother for that matter.

    I would be happy to compromise for some beer and wine but FI won't have it. My parents won't back down and it's starting to become a bigger issue than just a headache.

    I'm really not sure who to side with on this one. My gut is telling me to stand by my FI but I know that will upset my parents as well as many others (although I think it's rude of people to assume that events/people can't be fun unless they drink..). UGH.

    Thanks for sharing all the opinions and thoughts!

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  • azdancer8azdancer8 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We did not serve alcohol. I can't drink for health reasons, and DH rarely drinks anyways. DH's family has a history of alcoholism and I didn't want any issues or temptation for them.

    We served iced tea, lemonade, water, and a variety of hot beverages for our evening reception. No one had any issues with our decision, and no one even asked in the first place. It saved us quite a bit of money, not just on the alcohol, but also because we didn't have to pay for security at the venue since it was a dry wedding.
  • edited December 2011
    that is hard. i am sorry to hear its causing stress. 

    me and my FI had this discussion too. I do not drink...my FI hasn't drank since being in ministry school but does enjoy a beer now and then. 
    we discussed this for awhile with everyone and my FI (as well as FMIL and my sister) mentioned that ppl may be more comfortable dancing if they had a little bit to drink. NOT GET DRUNK...but just a litte. we decided to go with a cash bar. 
    we know this is a total wedding no-no...but to us... it just made sense. we aren't actually PROVIDING the alcohol (i am not buying any beer, or wine, or hard alcohol)..the cash bar provides it all. It cost me only $150 and my guests pay for their own drinks. 
    i felt like that was the safest route.... people won't be getting drunk when they have to pay for their own drinks...and FI and i get to feel guiltfree because we didnt actually purchase the alcohol. 
  • edited December 2011
    I know I'm getting into this a little late, but we are not having alcohol at our wedding either.

    We are having the ceremony and reception at the church and alcohol is not allowed. Also immediate family does not drink. We are having a cake only reception immediatly following the ceremony.
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  • edited December 2011
    FI and I are not having alcohol.  As our reception will be in a church sanctuary, anyone who has to ask why we aren't having it will be smacked, lol.  We will be having sparkling white grape juice and this sort of mock red wine that FMIL found a recipe for.  And of course water, tea, etc.

    OP, just tell everyone that alcohol is too expensive!  It's not a lie!  Lol.
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  • SuMmErKuTiESuMmErKuTiE member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    We had a full open bar at our wedding as have all of the other weddings I've ever been to. That's just what's done in my family and circle of friends and it's expected. If we hadn't had an open bar, a lot of our friends and family would have been really disappointed. I was raised in a strong Christian home, but we were never taught that alcohol was evil, just to have it in moderation. My mom enjoys an occasional pina colada or fruity drink, as my father enjoys an occasional beer or glass of wine. Both my parents are very actively involved in their church and missions work and see nothing wrong in having alcohol served during the holidays at family gatherings and at parties and/or weddings. I've never understood why people completely abtstain from alcohol for religious reasons since Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in the Bible.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Is anyone NOT having alcohol at their wedding?:
    [QUOTE]We had a full open bar at our wedding as have all of the other weddings I've ever been to. That's just what's done in my family and circle of friends and it's expected. If we hadn't had an open bar, a lot of our friends and family would have been really disappointed. I was raised in a strong Christian home, but we were never taught that alcohol was evil, just to have it in moderation. I've never understood why people completely obtstain from alcohol for religious reasons since Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in the Bible.
    Posted by SuMmErKuTiE[/QUOTE]

    This exactly for us too. But I think it is your choice. I understand your parents opinion but if you disagree then just don't have it. What about providing fun drinks like lemonades, iced teas, punch.. etc... oRR you could just have wine bar - and only provide wine and/or beer. Just a thought. :)
  • mrandmrsbristmrandmrsbrist member
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    We're not having alcohol. Two reasons: We're getting married in the morning. I don't know many people who want to drink or get drunk (because I realize they're two different things) at 11 AM. And because neither FI or I drink. That's just what makes sense for us.
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  • FaithCaitlinFaithCaitlin member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for the responses.

    Again, I do not believe that alcohol is evil by any means. Neither do FI and his family- they just choose not to drink.

    I will look into a mocktail hour or a cash bar! Thanks!

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  • edited December 2011
    we are not serving any alcohol either, but we're providing tea, sparkling raspberry lemonade, and some kind of a fruity fizzy punch... and Jarritos at the end!
  • iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I didn't want to have it (most of the weddings I've been to were dry so it is normal in my social circle) but DH thought that his family/friends would expect it (most of the weddings he's attended were not dry so it is normal to have alcohol in his social circle).  Other reasons I didn't want it:

    1.  We had to sign a contract with our venue that we were personally responsible for our guests.
    2.  We had to pay a per person hourly fee for serving alcohol over and above the price of the alcohol.
    3.  We had to supply the alcohol and I didn't want to have to worry about picking it up and taking it with us after.
    4.  My parents each grew up in a home where their father abused alcohol so they totally abstain and I thought it would be honoring my parents to honor their wishes not to have alcohol at my wedding.

    In the end, we had it.  I asked DH to be in charge of the contract, having someone to deal with unruly guests (if needed), picking up and paying for the alcohol, paying the per hour fee and taking care of distributing it after.  My parents were VERY upset with me for having it at our wedding but they got over it.  We only served beer and wine during cocktail hour and dinner.  We also had a large variety of non-alcoholic drinks and a coffee bar with flavors & chocolate spoons.

    If your parents are paying, I would explain to them that if you have alcohol, they need to pay for that too (no cash bar).  I think it is more rude to have it but make your guests pay for it than to not have it at all (my personal opinion).

    In the end for me, I had to realize that while my family and friends do not drink socially and it is not part of my social circle, I am marrying into a family where it is normal to have a drink with dinner and out of respect for those guests, I decided that it was the proper way to host them.  I'm not saying that you should or shouldn't, but thought I'd share my experience with making this decision.
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  • edited December 2011
    We're not!!  One, my mom's 6 years sober Tuesday (yay!!) and I just realized seeing this thread, we're in a dry county.  :P


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  • edited December 2011
    I am late on this haha... but this has been a big thing for me too. I kind of wanted to have a dry wedding, but there are a lot of people coming who like to have a glass of wine with dinner. I agree, there is nothing wrong with a drink, as long as people aren't getting drunk (yes, Jesus did turn water to wine and had it at the last supper). SO, we decided to have wine and beer only (with champagne for the toast for the bridal party- even though I personally probably won't want it haha), during cocktail hour and dinner and then shut the alcohol off after dinner. It REALLY bothers me when people think that the main point of a wedding reception is to drink as much as possible just because it's free. The main point of a wedding reception is to celebrate the marriage of two people! 

    If you do decide not to have it, just be careful who you tell. My friend had only wine during dinner and she shut off the alcohol after dinner and some of her FI's friends found out there wouldn't be much alcohol there and they brought their own- a LOT of their own- and were very drunk by the end of the night, which I thought was disrespectful to my friend and her new husband. Also, as PP's said, you are responsible for your guests.

    Whatever you decide, remember it's YOUR wedding. It is very kind of your family and his to give their opinions and to pay for some/all of it, but in the end, it has to be you and your FI's decision. Do what you both feel is right or best for you. 
  • eternalmariaeternalmaria member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We're not. First off, I'm underage, but secondly, like many others have said, some family members have had issues in the past with alcoholism, and we don't want that to be an issue.
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  • edited December 2011
    We've ended up deciding to have a wine/beer bar only, and when it runs out, people have the chance to buy more if they really want it, but we only expect less than half of the guests to even partake at all, so there will be plenty for those who want it.  We have to have an off-duty cop (per regulations of our venue) but they arrange for all of that and it's super-inexpensive.  

    In the end, it's not setting us back too far to have it, and FI's family offered to pay for it because my parents are footing the bill for the rest of the reception and didn't want to pay for the bar too.  My parents don't drink either, but the folks who are coming who probably will partake aren't crazy drinkers either.  They just like having it at celebrations and such.  We are expecting everything to run smoothly.  The venue is providing an off-duty cop as security guard and he'll basically stay in the kitchen area unless he feels like he is needed or if anyone needs to be "cut off" at the bar.  Highly unlikely, but still a good thing to have as back-up.  
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Is anyone NOT having alcohol at their wedding?:
    [QUOTE]We're not!!  One, my mom's 6 years sober Tuesday (yay!!) and I just realized seeing this thread, we're in a dry county.  :P
    Posted by BrideToBeBecauseHeLovesMe[/QUOTE]


    Out of curiousity, what does that mean?
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  • edited December 2011
    Typically a dry county is one where alcohol is not sold by law.
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  • katanne9katanne9 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We sort of didn't have alcohol. We ended up having wine available. That was all.We had signature mocktails (recipes in bio). Everyone loved them! We never felt any need to forewarn or explain to anyone that we weren't having alcohol.

    Since half the guests will like a drink and some will be opposed - I would have wine and maybe a signature cocktail. HOWEVER, I believe in he who pays, says. So, IMO, your parents get to make that decision.
  • edited December 2011
    My FI and I are drinkers, and many of our friends and some of our family members are light social drinkers, so we're having alcohol. However, I don't think that you have to serve alcohol to be a good host.  And great weddings have been put on that were dry.  I have friends who have done it and they were fun to attend...didn't even miss the alcohol :-).

    Personally, I'm of the school that if something is being provided at the reception, the host(s) should pay for it.  I don't see a cash bar as any different than saying to your guests "the chicken is free, but if you want filet mignon, you'll have to pony up the dough."  So I'm not a fan of going the cash bar route.  If you don't want to host it (and I don't think you have to justify your decision), don't provide it.  As long as guests are given food and drink (e.g. pop, lemonade, iced tea, etc.) of some kind, you are being a good host.

    The problem in this situation, OP, is that your parents are footing the bill.  If they're paying, they can make decisions in terms of how they want to host your event.  I don't know if your parents are like this, but some people do feel that alcohol is essential to good hosting and feel that not providing it (or something else they find essential) is a bad reflection on them as hosts.  Maybe this is something worth talking out...why do your parents feel that alcohol is essential? 

    If this is a hill you and your FI feel is worth dying on, then you may have to refuse their money and finance it on your own.  Only you and your FI know if you're willing to go that far over this issue.
  • FaithCaitlinFaithCaitlin member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    After some more thinking and discussing with my folks, we have decided on a mocktail hour! Thanks again girls!

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  • edited December 2011
    I wish we had a like button so I could like that post, lol.
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  • edited December 2011
    Personally, I don't see why people get mega offended by alcohol at weddings (unless they are paying and don't want to provide it). To me, having alcohol "available" at weddings is no different than having it "available" at any given restaurant. And I've never known anybody to be offended by people choosing to partake at restaurant. So...guess I don't see what the big deal is as long as the people paying for it don't mind! :-/
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  • edited December 2011

    Two of my close friends did not have alcohol at their weddings....here is how things went....

    Friend A: We ate dinner, they did the toasts, first dance and everyone left before 8 pm and we all went out seperately....some of us even spent the evening helping clean up because we felt rude leaving so early, but the event was pretty much over.

    Friend B: People had coolers and flasks and either spent the night in the parking lot with their friends drinking....or were spiking drinks inside.  The couple realized this was going on and there was a low point in the night, but the bride will tell you, the few of us that stayed in and danced and made the night about them saved her reception for her.

    If you have drinkers coming to the wedding, they will either obey the rules and leave early, or ignore your rules and take away from your event.

    I don't feel strongly to have alcohol or not have alcohol, I am just trying to give you teh realistic response your guests will have.

  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    "If you have drinkers coming to the wedding, they will either obey the rules and leave early, or ignore your rules and take away from your event."


    Not to be argumentative, but that's not entirely true.  As I said before, our hardcore drinkers didn't leave early and to my knowledge no one snuck anything in.  Yes, our reception in general ended early, but H and planned on that.  We weren't interested in partying until midnight and we had to be out by 10 anyway.  We left around 9 I think, and there were a lot people still there when we left.  Eight years later people still talk about what a great party it was.  I think it really depends on the atmosphere you set up, not so much on the alcohol.
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